From photos of youngsters hanging off mile-high whole-car bridges to updates on the ‘VAMP’ of London’s rooftops and train-tracks, Hurt You Bad started as a graffiti blog featuring only the best tags and their daredevil artists.
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After 10 years of blogging into the virtual-sphere H Y B has teamed up with Topsafe to produce something more tangible, a magazine about the people behind the spray can – but with little to no graffiti in it. Instead they’ve interviewed artists, photographed tattooed youths and city streets, both in the midst of night-time antics and daytime luster and shown us how to make a work of art using only paint, gasoline and fire. i-D online talk to Fred Forsyth, the magazine’s publisher to find out the story behind issue #1, Concealed Intentions, and the tricks of the trade from graffiti’s finest.
Where did the name ‘Hurt You Bad’ come from? We shamelessly appropriated it from our friend Bozak, he scrawled next to a particularly brazen one man whole car.
What do you mean by ‘a graffiti magazine with little to no graffiti in it’? It’s a magazine about graffiti, but that doesn’t really feature any actual graffiti. Graffiti is far more than the physical act of illegally applying a medium to a surface. It’s kinda like this marginalized Illuminati, it’s the network of people who all have this weird connection through their interest in illegal graffiti.
What’s the best piece of graffiti you’ve ever seen? When the 7/7 bombing happened in London, the first photographs of the damaged trains showed TOX tags painted on the walls of the tunnel, they would have appeared as blurs for anyone hurtling past but those bombs froze time and simultaneously created a void in the train that framed the TOX tag.
When you started the website, did you plan on making a magazine too? When the website launched in 2003 there was no real agenda, and that pretty much continued until we got together with Freddie & Topsafe in early 2010 and started this process.
What do you think the magazine offers that the website doesn’t? It’s tangible, it exists in real life and as such it has the ability to be revisited and potentially last a lot longer than a transitory blog post, to that end we put a lot more effort into the content.
What fanzines/magazines did you grow up reading? Phat was seminal, Grand Royal was self indulgent in the extreme but educated a generation. Big Brother, The Face, i-D, Graffiti magazines, the early issues of Graphotism were treasured possessions but it fell off hard and now ceases to exist. The 3 Bomb Alert issues, Life Sucks Die hailing from the Twin Cities perhaps had the most in common with our world view. Mass Appeal did a great job of being rooted in Graffiti and being on top of contemporary culture.
What is your New Year’s Resolution? Release a second issue of the magazine before the end of next summer.
Do you have any advice to pass on to anyone else wanting to start up their
own magazine? Just do it, it’s easier than it has ever been, there is no barrier to entry.
Text: Felicity Kinsella